November 17, 2020 -- The European Commission approved a fifth contract with CureVac for the initial purchase of 225 million doses on behalf of all European Union (EU) member states, plus an option to request up to an additional 180 million doses.
The commission has already signed contracts with AstraZeneca, Sanofi- GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen, and BioNTech/Pfizer, and is in exploratory talks with Moderna. This portfolio will ensure Europe is well-prepared for vaccination once the vaccines have been proven safe and effective. Member states can also decide to donate the vaccine to lower or middle-income countries or to redirect it to other European countries. To date, the commission has secured at least 1.2 billion doses.
Germany-based CureVac signed an $89 million loan agreement with the European Investment Bank on July 6 for the development and large-scale production of vaccines, including its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The company is developing a new class of vaccines based on messenger RNA delivered by lipid nanoparticles.
CureVac released positive interim phase I data for its CVnCoV vaccine candidate on November 10 and is planning to initiate a phase IIb/III clinical trial by the end of 2020.